‘The Irishman’ Reviews: Opens in LA, New York

Written by:
Jordan Bach
Published on:

Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” opens in eight New York/Los Angeles theaters to start its theatrical play ahead of a November 27 Netflix debut.

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This biographical crime thriller follows Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) as he recalls his past years working for the Bufalino crime family. Now older, the WWII veteran once again reflects on his most prolific hits and, in particular, considers his involvement with his good friend Jimmy Hoffa's disappearance in 1975.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Bufalino maintained major criminal interests in illegal gambling, loansharking, and labor racketeering.

With 106 reviews, "The Irishman" has received an impressive 98% on the film review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.

Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal writes: “Feels genuinely new and deeply satisfying -- for its subtlety, wit and resonance; for its serenely confident technique, meaning no truck with fancy tricks; for the sumptuous quality of the production; and for the epic scope of the story.”

Lindsey Bahr of the Associated Press writes: “If this all seems rather somber, it's because of the stunning last hour, which will stick with you long after the film is over. But before then, "The Irishman" is actually quite droll, with some of the best characters and dialogue you'll see in a film.”

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone writes: “Prepare for fireworks. With this unmissable crime epic, you'll be watching Scorsese at the peak of his powers directing acting giants De Niro, Pacino and Pesci and creating the movie event of the year.”

For those looking to see the film outside the New York and LA areas, Netflix rollout is a bit unorthodox, Tom Brueggemann of Yahoo Entertainment reports:

While Netflix is slowly adding dates weekly after its premiere, this is not a typical platform run. For one thing, among its initial theaters, the Egyptian in Los Angeles and the Belasco in New York aren’t even first-run locations — and while venerable, they’re far removed from plush stadium seating at premium locations. Two Los Angeles dates were added last minute, post-Sunday newspaper ads.

Netflix’s website for “The Irishman” lists theaters booked that have provided showtimes and have tickets on sale, and thus is incomplete. It currently lists around 60-70 theaters scattered through North America in addition to dates in the U.K and Ireland. For most people, seeing “The Irishman” in a theater will require significant effort. That seems to be acceptable to both Netflix (who is in the streaming business) and most theater operators (who are inflexible in their window requirements).

The film runs 210 minutes with no intermission, and it will be available on Netflix in a few weeks.

- Jordan Bach, Gambling911.com

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